Gapyoung is one of the favorite visit places for those from Seoul. It's a place filled with so many spots to tour around like Nami-Island, Morning Calm Garden, Jara-Island and more. Many domestic and international vistors open the gates to these places as it's been a great shooting spot for numerous films and dramas as well.
Gapyoung's Pine Forest is a forest in full growth. And at the 'Kyunggido Pine-Aroma Green Forest' you can experience to the fullest of green pine trees.
Pine trees mainly decorate the forest where Chukryeoung Mountain and Seori Mountain meets. Gapyoung's 'Kyunggido Pine-Aroma Green Forest' is a 370 acre wide forest where pine trees fill the whole vast land. Pine trees at least 80 years old stand tall covering not even a shade of sunlight under.
'Kyunggido Pine-Aroma Green Forest' has been re-gardened starting at 2005 and over ten years it's been getting some fixes here and there for a forest healing, and forest experience for visitors to enjoy it even more! Finally on October of 2014, the forest re-opened.
Despite being situated pretty close to Seoul, the green trees of pines stand straight up towards the sky. It's also called as the 'Chukryeong Baekrim'. Leveled up at 450-600m high from the ground this forest not only has pine trees but also wild flowers like azalea to enhance your explration of this beautiful nature.
The road that leads to the Pine-Aroma path and the Hwajunmin village takes about 2-3 hours. At the Green Forest, a spinning wheel, valley, pine museum and more decorates the surroundings.
Inside of the Chukryeoung Gallery there's a pine-exhibition opened always. This squirrel explains how we harvest pines and make them to products. It's a great place for even kids to have fun.
Since pines are known in Gapyoung, Korean wine made out of pines or tofu made out of pine is also dispalyed and served at restaurants around the area.
Once you come out of the gallery and enter the Hwajunmin village you can see the 70s life where people burnt wood and mountains for living. A sample housing that revived the cabin and tree-bark houses are open for free tours. It was barely only 50 years ago when people built such 'eco-friendly' houses with soil and trees.
The cabin houses made of wood are also very unique. Each built by perfectly fitting logs of wood, cabin houses are made by fitting the logs in squares. Pasting the logs with soil and furnishing the roofs with cone-fruit, without no special equipment or technique, this is how people in the woods and mountains built a sterdy home.
Tree bark houses are made out of dirt and tree bark. Since it's a high-level land there probably weren't enough hay to mend a roof. The roofs are covered with tree barks. Tree bark houses are cool on sunny dry days since the wood dries up opening up for the breeze to flow in, and on rainy days the planks soak the water which swells to cover the cracks so no water dripping! In the winter snow falls on top of the tree bark, keeping the warm temperature inside of the house, so what more of a perfect house could this be up high?
The small barn inside of the house is what makes it so special. Since it's a high-mountain zone area, the barn is placed inside due to the unbearable coldness even for the animals. You can naturally picture animals breathing and hoving together with the families as you walk along.
Beside is a charcoal pot where charcoal was made by burning wood. Where good trees are, good charcoals are made. Incinerating good quality of charcoal beside a pile of tall fresh cut trees, it must be a life how people bought clothing and daily meals. People now walk by the pavilions enjoying the beauty of the mountains but a second thought that life for those back then must of been hard passes through.
The walking paths are designed out well so even toddlers can finish the walk between the crowded forest. Feeling the breeze coming between the sterdy trees is something that can be put in words. Every walk seems to lead into a refresh every cell in your body.
Feeling every walk revigorating is not a lie, According to the Kyunggido Health and Environment lab this forest is the best forest in 2014 that exudes the highest phytoncide of all the forests. Phytoncide is a compound trees exhale in order to protect themselves, a 're-freshing' scent that keeps us uplifted. This green-aroma filled forest with phytoncide fulfills every need of your body that need cure.
Taking a summer vacation to somewhere is doubtful when so many places are crowded. Here, at the Kyunggido Pine-Aroma Green forest might be where you can revive yourself and come back with a refeshing heart.
Translated by_ Gen_E